Court Slams Apple For Delaying External Payment Options

Tech mogul Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s battle with the maker of Fortnite, Epic Games was again in the news after Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ordered the iPhone maker to let the developers add external payment links and buttons by December 9.

In a tone of reproach, the Judge said, “Apple’s motion is based on a selective reading of this Court’s findings and ignores all of the findings which supported the injunction.”

During the hearing, the lawyer for Apple argued that the revised anti-steering policy will take more time to be written. Mark Perry emphasized, “his will be the first time Apple has ever allowed live links in an app for digital content. It’s going to take months to figure out the engineering, economic, business, and other issues. It is exceedingly complicated. There have to be guardrails and guidelines to protect children, to protect developers, to protect consumers, to protect Apple. And they have to be written into guidelines that can be explained and enforced and applied.”

The lawsuit which was opened by Epic Games back in 2020, has resulted in Fortnite being evicted from the App Store. U.S District Judge Gonzalez Rogers said that Apple could not stop developers from using “buttons, external links or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing methods” other than Apple’s payment system. The judge, in her 185-page judgment, however did not direct Apple to bring down its commission.

Till now, the ruling of the case has gone in Apple’s favor, but Epic games demanded that the court should make Apple delete the anti-steering policy claiming that it actually harms the users. When Apple tried to say that if the restriction is suddenly lifted, it will harm everyone involved. If Apple is forced to implement them, will upset the platform.

“They will harm consumers. They will harm developers. That is a fact. It is going to happen,” said Perry.

Epic attorney Gary Bornstein retorted to the suggestion by saying, “Apple does nothing unless it is forced to do it.”

However, the request for more stay on the matter, as proposed by the company did not sit well with the judge, as she retorted, “You haven’t asked for additional time. You’ve asked for an injunction which would effectively take years. You asked for an across-the-board stay which could take 3, 4, 5 years.”

Gonzalez Rogers also went on to add that “Apple has provided no credible reason for the Court to believe that the injunction would cause the professed devastation.”

An Apple spokesperson said that the company will be appealing to the Ninth Circuit to approve the stay. “Apple believes no additional business changes should be required to take effect until all appeals in this case are resolved. We intend to ask the Ninth Circuit for a stay based on these circumstances

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